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Ryanair condemns €9 billion in state aid for Lufthansa

Credit: Belga

Ryanair has condemned on Tuesday the €9 billion in German state aid granted to aeronautical group Lufthansa, which was announced on Monday.

The state aid “will further strengthen Lufthansa’s monopoly-like grip on the German air travel market” as it comes “on top of the extensive payroll support already given to the German airline,” Ryanair stated.

“The German and French governments continue to provide enormous state aid to their companies, many of whom do not need it, which distorts competition with other providers across Europe,” the airline went on.

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“Non-state aided airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, BA and others, will now have to compete with Lufthansa in both the short haul and long haul markets without equivalent state aid, whereas Lufthansa can use” its state aid “to engage in below cost selling on its short haul intra-EU routes and its long haul routes,” the airline said.

“Lufthansa is addicted to state aid. Whenever there is a crisis, Lufthansa’s first reflex is to put its hand in the German government’s pocket,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, pointing out that the Lufthansa Group, which includes Brussels Airlines, had also requested aid in Switzerland, Austria and Belgium.

“It is deeply ironic” that the German government, “which lectures all other EU countries about respecting EU rules, has no difficulty breaking the state aid rules when it comes to Lufthansa,” O’Leary lamented.

Ryanair said that it would “appeal against this latest example of illegal state aid to Lufthansa.”

The Brussels Times

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